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Paul Aaron Scholes ( ; born 16 November 1974) is an Englishmarker football player who currently plays for Manchester United. He is a one club man, having spent his entire professional career with a single club. Scholes represented the England national team from 1997 to 2004, participating in the 1998 and 2002 World Cup, as well as UEFA Euro 2000 and UEFA Euro 2004. He is one of only four players to make over 600 appearances in all competitions for Manchester United.

Early Years

Scholes was born in Salfordmarker in Hope Hospital to parents Stewart and Marina Scholes. The family moved to Langley Estates when he was 18 months old where he lived on Bowness Road, and later Talkin Drive.

He attended the St Mary's RC Primary School in Langley. The first team he played for was Langley Furrows despite being an Oldham Athletic supporter. Scholes also excelled at cricket. At age 14, he began training with Manchester United. He then later joined as a trainee upon leaving the Cardinal Langley Roman Catholic High School, Middletonmarker, Greater Manchestermarker in the summer of 1991. In his final term at school, he was selected to represent Great Britain National Schools in football.

Club career

Scholes was not a member of Manchester United's 1992 FA Youth Cup-winning squad that included future senior teammates David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, but he was part of the youth team that reached the final in the following season, alongside Phil Neville. Scholes turned professional on 23 July 1993, but did not make his breakthrough into the senior squad until the 1994–95 season, when he made seventeen league appearances and scored five goals. His debut came on 21 September 1994, where he scored twice in a 2–1 victory over Port Vale in the Football League Cup. Scholes came on as a substitute in the 1995 FA Cup final against Everton, which United lost 1–0.

In 1995–96, after Mark Hughes moved to Chelsea, Scholes had even more first-team opportunities. He stood in for the suspended Eric Cantona as Andrew Cole's strike partner for the first two months of the campaign. Scholes scored fourteen goals in all competitions as United became the first English team to win the double twice. He picked up another Premier League winners medal in 1996–97, but was restricted to three goals in sixteen league games.

Scholes moved to the midfielder and forward attack positions in the 1997–98 after Roy Keane suffered a knee injury in late September and did not play again that season. United finished the season without a major trophy, only the second time in the 1990s that this happened.

In 1998–99, Scholes was a key player in Manchester United's Premier League title, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League Treble success. He scored one of Manchester United's two goals against Newcastle in the FA Cup final. He also scored an away goal against Internazionale in the Champions League quarter-final, but was ruled out of the final victory over FC Bayern Munich through suspension.

Scholes netted a career-high twenty goals in all competitions in the 2002–03 season, a number that dipped to fourteen the next year, despite a career-best four FA Cup goals in comparison to his total of five in his first nine seasons. He helped Manchester United reach the 2005 FA Cup Final but saw his penalty saved by Jens Lehmann as they lost to Arsenal in a penalty shootout. He was ruled out for the second half of the 2005–06 campaign with blurred vision. The cause of this was initially uncertain, sparking fears that it could end his career. He overcame this problem through the beginning of the year and he appeared in Manchester United's final game of the season against Charlton Athletic. Reportedly, Scholes' vision has not completely recovered.

On 22 October 2006, in the 2–0 Premier League victory over Liverpool in which Scholes also scored, twelve years after marking his Red Devils debut with a League Cup brace against Port Vale, Scholes became the ninth United player to play in five hundred matches, joining Sir Bobby Charlton, Bill Foulkes, Denis Irwin, and current teammates Giggs and Gary Neville.

Scholes was dismissed during Manchester United's 1–0 away victory over Liverpool F.C. on 3 March 2007, for swinging an arm at Xabi Alonso. It marked his first league expulsion since April 2005. A month later, he was sent off in the first leg of Manchester United's Champions League quarter final at A.S. Roma. Scholes's disciplinary problems have also resulted in numerous cards throughout his career, he has received 75 bookings in the Premier League alone and more notably, 24 in the Champions League - significantly more than any other player in the competition.

On 23 August, he was shortlisted for a spot in the National Football Museum Hall of Fame, which ultimately went to Dennis Bergkamp.

Scholes suffered knee ligament damage during a training session the night before Manchester United's Champions League Group F matchup with Dynamo Kiev on 23 October 2007, and was out of action until the end of January 2008. He returned as a substitute in Manchester United's 3–1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth round of the FA Cup. On 23 April 2008, Scholes made his hundredth Champions League appearance in a semi-final 0–0 draw at FC Barcelona, and scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory in the second leg that sent United into the final. During the final he suffered an injury and a yellow card after a clash with Claude Makélélé, he returned until he was substituted by Giggs in the 87th minute and did not take part in the penalty shoot-out that was won 6-5 by United after a 1–1 extra-time draw.

Scholes was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in September 2008. In a December 2008 interview with The Daily Mirror, he said he planned to retire from football completely in two years. "I think I've got two years left at the most [...] I'm looking forward to finishing and everything that goes with it."

On 24 January 2009, Scholes scored his first goal of the season against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup. His shot from out-side the box in the 34th minute deflected in off Tom Huddlestone to bring the game to 1–1, while United would go on to win 2–1. On 18 February, Scholes scored his first Premier League goal in over a year in a 3–0 win over Fulham, a swerving volley that hit Mark Schwarzer and rebounded in. On 22 April, he made his 600th appearance for Manchester United in a 2–0 win over Portsmouth.

On 15 September 2009, Scholes scored his first Champions League goal since netting the winner against Barcelona in the semi-final a year and a half ago. He netted the solitary goal in the 77th minute away to Beşiktaş, giving Manchester United a winning start to their 2009-10 European campaign. On 3 November 2009, Scholes hit his second goal of the campaign, again coming in the Champions League. This time he scored the second United goal in the 3–3 draw with CSKA Moscow, which was another headed goal.

International career

Scholes made his international debut against South Africa in 1997 in a 2–1 friendly win at Old Trafford, and was included in the England squad for the 1998 World Cup. England were grouped with Colombia, Tunisia and Romania. During England's first World Cup group match against Tunisiamarker, Scholes sealed a 2–0 victory with a goal late in the game. Picking up a pass from Paul Ince just outside the Tunisian area, Scholes pushed the ball slightly to his right and hit a shot with his right foot which curled into the top right-hand corner of Tunisian keeper Chokri El Ouaer's net.

His international career continued after England's elimination from the World Cup by Argentina on penalties in the first knock-out round. On 27 March 1999, Scholes managed a hat-trick for England in a game against Poland. In addition, Scholes scored both goals in England's 2-0 win at Hampden Parkmarker over Scotland in the Euro 2000 play-off first leg, sealing a 2-1 aggregate win and qualification for the finals tournament. In a qualifier against Sweden that June, Scholes became the first and last England player to be sent off in an international match at the now-demolished Wembley Stadiummarker.

With the turn of the century, Scholes became a prominent player in England's midfield, becoming a first-choice selection for the 2002 World Cup. However, after the tournament, Scholes saw his opportunities in the national team decline due to Sven-Göran Eriksson playing him out of position on the left midfield to accommodate the pairing of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in central midfield. Scholes announced his retirement from international football in August 2004, citing his family life and his club career with Manchester United as being more important. He has turned down the opportunity to come out of retirement and reclaim his position in the England squad under former manager Steve McClaren.

Personal life

Scholes is an asthmatic. He is married to his childhood sweetheart, Claire, and, they have three children, Arron, Alicia and Aiden,. The family live in Saddleworth Moormarker, Oldhammarker.

Career statistics

Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Manchester United 1994–95 17 5 3 0 3 2 2 0 0 0 25 7
1995–96 26 10 2 1 1 2 2 1 0 0 31 14
1996–97 24 3 2 2 2 1 4 0 1 0 33 6
1997–98 31 8 2 0 1 0 7 2 1 0 42 10
1998–99 31 6 6 1 1 0 12 4 1 0 51 11
1999–2000 31 9 0 0 11 3 3 0 45 12
2000–01 32 6 0 0 0 0 12 6 1 0 45 12
2001–02 35 8 2 0 0 0 13 1 1 0 51 9
2002–03 33 14 3 1 6 3 10 2 0 0 52 20
2003–04 28 9 6 4 0 0 5 1 1 0 40 14
2004–05 33 9 6 3 2 0 7 0 1 0 49 12
2005–06 20 2 0 0 0 0 7 1 0 0 27 3
2006–07 30 6 4 0 0 0 11 1 0 0 45 7
2007–08 24 1 3 0 0 0 7 1 0 0 34 2
2008–09 21 2 2 1 3 0 6 0 3 0 35 3
2009–10 9 0 0 0 0 0 3 2 1 0 13 2
Total 425 98 41 13 19 8 119 25 14 0 618 144

Statistics accurate as of match played 28 November 2009

International goals

Scores and results list England's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Result Competition Scored
1 4 June 1997 Stade de la Beaujoiremarker, Nantesmarker 2–0 Friendly 1
2 10 September 1997 Wembleymarker, London 4–0 1998 World Cup Qualification 1
3 15 November 1997 Wembleymarker, London 2–0 Friendly 1
4 15 June 1998 Stade Vélodromemarker, Marseillemarker 2–0 1998 FIFA World Cup 1
5 27 March 1999 Wembleymarker, London 3–1 Euro 2000 Qualification 3
8 13 November 1999 Hampden Parkmarker, Glasgowmarker 2–0 Euro 2000 Qualification 2
10 12 June 2000 Philips Stadionmarker, Eindhovenmarker 2–3 Euro 2000 1
11 28 March 2001 Qemal Stafa Stadiummarker, Tiranamarker 3–1 2002 World Cup Qualification 1
12 25 May 2001 Pride Parkmarker, Derbymarker 4–0 Friendly 2
13 6 June 2001 Olympic Stadiummarker, Athensmarker 2–0 2002 World Cup Qualification 1
14 21 June 2004 Estádio da Luzmarker, Lisbonmarker 4–2 Euro 2004 1



Manchester United



  3. {{cite web |title=Club Trophy Room, |publisher=Manchester United |url={EE4D6083-FCB8-4FAB-A765-75E2B0F4B4E0} |accessdate=2009-04-16}}
  4. O'Shea stuns Anfield. ESPNsoccernet (2007-03-03). Retrieved on 2008-12-19.
  7. Rich, Tim (2008-07-24). Manchester United fans have two years to savour Paul Scholes. The Independent. Retrieved on 2009-03-25.
  8. Northcroft, Jonathon (2004-09-26). New goals for Scholes. The Sunday Times. Retrieved on 2009-03-25.
  9. Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup, FIFA Club World Cup

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